Celebrated, Not Tolerated:
Truth or Fairytale?
Tracee Anne Loosle
There is a saying among Christian circles: “Go where you are celebrated, not just tolerated.” Once upon a time I believed this as truth. I chose to go where I was being celebrated, giving God my “yes” and taking up the cross.
I would soon discover the Lord took my “yes” seriously. I quickly learned taking up the cross and laying down your life is not the fairy tale of being celebrated, but the reality of putting on a servant’s apron and getting low. It’s not going to the head of the table, or (what we see today in a celebrity mindset church) being the next “who’s who” on the platform. It is embracing what Jesus endured on the road into Jerusalem, where the crowds shouted “Hosanna!” one day, and “Crucify him!” the next.
Serving a well-known ministry, I was in the hidden place, not out front. I enjoyed this place. It was incredible to sense the amazing presence of God, to see His glory, to receive His heart from heaven (the kingdom of love) and to release it on earth… But some around me saw the gift of God on my life and felt I should have a more public place.
I heard the words through multiple voices in this season: “Go where you are celebrated, not just tolerated.” I took it as a confirmation the Lord was inviting me to the front to be celebrated. I accepted the offer to serve another ministry, whose leaders felt I needed a more public place. They were precious lovers of God. I jumped at the chance to go. It felt like favor had made a way for me.
I desired to serve the Lord. I had made the promise to go wherever He led me. I love Him so much! But this “celebrated” move was not the Lord’s place or His positioning. My zeal, mixed with religious duty, produced striving and seeking to be recognized. I wanted to be seen. I had been rejected much, so to have this kind of acceptance and invitation made me feel special and celebrated.
While on one of the organization’s amazing ministry trips, the Lord revealed to me a scenario He was going to allow to unfold. He showed me how he would allow the heart of one to turn against me and this person would go to one of the leaders. This would cause the door of ministering alongside them to close. This was because I was not serving where He had called me.
He had not led me to this position. He instructed me to die to self and go back and serve where he had called me. I wept the tears of one who knew I’d gone my own way and not the way of Love. It all played out as the Father had allowed me to see. It was very painful. I was being crucified. His instructions were to remain silent and go to the cross.
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” Luke 9:23-25 (NASB)
I returned and served the ministry I was called to for many more years. I learned precious truths in serving a humble man of God. And I felt God celebrating me as I found myself in him.
The same temptation came again, where dear ones would see the anointing on my life and want me to go places I was not called to. I had to war with the temptation of going to be celebrated. The Lord would allow others to be removed from my life, and my heart would be tested.
Yet through it all I experienced great joy. I found the path the Lord has laid out to be filled with wonder and blessing. In each dying to temptation, religious duty and the need for approval died as well.
“The mature children of God are those who are moved by the impulses of the Holy Spirit. And you did not receive the “spirit of religious duty,” leading you back into the fear of never being good enough. But you have received the “Spirit of full acceptance,” enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as he rises up within us, our spirits join him in saying the words of tender affection, “Beloved Father!” For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as he whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!”” Romans 8:14-16 TPT
I found my place as a loved daughter; my position in His heart first. Everything else flowed from abiding where He placed me and led me.
I have discovered the statement “Go where you are celebrated, not just tolerated.” has left many feeling like outcasts. They go from place to place looking to be celebrated by man. They see certain ones promoted and their own gifts left unopened. They wander to the next place feeling forsaken and forgotten.
Unfortunately this kind of culture leaves people feeling rejected because of an unholy expectation. Many fall away into despair. This feeds the enemy’s plight to keep the sons and daughters of God orphans. The orphan mentality is bondage.
Too often we only celebrate the highlighted ones. Yet the Father celebrates all His children. He desires to pour out His Spirit on all flesh. The Spirit empowers us to live a life of power and freedom from the enemy. The Spirit in us cries out the truth of our identity as sons and daughters.
“Yet all of this was so that he would redeem and set free all those held hostage to the written law so that we would receive our freedom and a full legal adoption as his children. And so that we would know for sure that we are his true children, God released the Spirit of Sonship into our hearts—moving us to cry out intimately, “My Father! You’re our true Father!” Now we’re no longer living like slaves under the law, but we enjoy being God’s very own sons and daughters! And because we’re his, we can access everything our Father has—for we are heirs of God through Jesus, the Messiah!” Galatians 4:5-7 TPT
When we learn to abide in Him, and only do what He asks of us, we find the joy of being loved and secure children of God. Discerning the Father’s heart and path for us is key. It is not to tolerate the fairy tales of man, but to know the truth of being sons and daughters of God. The love of our Father grounds us, bringing us into stability. When we know our identity in Him, we can lead others to Him – our good, good Father.